Liz tells us her tinnitus story and how technology has helped her experience something truly life-changing

"I was diagnosed with left-sided Ménière's disease thirty years ago. One of the earliest symptoms was a low pitched tinnitus. 

Ten years ago my Ménière's became bi-lateral with tinnitus both sides. The usual low pitched hum was joined by other prolonged spells of high pitched excruciatingly loud noise which started in my sleep. I would wake in the early hours terrified by the loud clanging of metal gates, factory machinery, air brakes, train engines, and similar. 

I also developed hyperacusis (noise sensitivity) which others find difficult to understand - how can a person with hearing loss hear noises that cause them such acute physical pain and distress? 

I dread hearing tests because the higher pitched sounds really 'hurt'.

My hearing deteriorated and I was given hearing aids and a masking device.

My hearing then deteriorated further and I was given hearing aids that incorporated a programme of soothing sounds to help me.  

Earlier this year I realised I could barely hear with or without hearing aids. A hearing test confirmed further deterioration in both ears and my hearing aids were reprogrammed.

For many years I have missed listening to the radio or my collection of operatic & classical music. Unlike TV there are no subtitles and no pause or rewind facility to replay an item 10 times until I can fathom out what was said! Regular ear phones are not an option for me - it would be impossible to avoid sudden loud or high pitched sounds.

Hearing loss is a lonely road and tinnitus is impossible for non-sufferers to comprehend. 

It was by chance that I tried AfterShokz bone conduction headphones. My daughter had recently bought a pair to use for business calls.

How to describe my joy at hearing speech and music clearly? I don't even remember a time when I could hear that well. 

It was a remarkable and uplifting experience and I am astonished and delighted every time I use them, truly life changing. Thank you." 

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